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The Twisted History of Tom Hanks

March 12, 2010
By James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
contributor to

When the president needed a break from twisting House members arms to vote for the Obamacare Senate bill that nobody wants, Hollywood brought over a movie.

Not just any flick though — President Obama got a preview screening of the HBO series "The Pacific." The popcorn was ready at the White House screening room.

This mini series supposedly gives the history of the Pacific front during World War II. Members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and some members of Congress rubbed elbows with Hollywood luminaries like HBO President Richard Plepler, director Steven Spielberg, and actor Tom Hanks.

Let’s remember Hanks started out as comedic cross dresser on the TV show, "Bosom Buddies."

Maybe he should have stayed a comedian.

Time magazine put Hanks on their cover looking very serious next to the headline, "History Maker." The sub headline read, "How Tom Hanks is redefining America's past."

The title of the article was, “How Tom Hanks Became America's Historian in Chief.”

From “Bosom Buddy” to “Historian in Chief?”

Hanks is not hurting at all financially. He is tied with Tom Cruise for the second most consecutive movies grossing over $100 million. The actor recently purchased a 14,500-square-foot mega mansion in Pacific Palisades for $26 million. It is the largest transaction for a single-family home in Los Angeles County in 2010.

America has been good to Tom Hanks, but recently he hasn’t been too good to America.

He managed to offend Christians around with world and some film critics with “Da Vinci Code.” Hanks targeted Mormons as the exec producer of the HBO series “Big Love.”

While he was promoting “Big Love,” he said that “a lot of Mormons gave a lot of money to the church to make Prop 8 happen. There are a lot of people who feel that is un-American and I am one of them.”

In other words Hanks decreed that expressing support for a state constitutional initiative is un-American. Perhaps it is that kind of delusional view of the world that led Hanks to make insane statements about the project he produced, along with Spielberg: a 10-hour $200 million series for HBO, "The Pacific."

While promoting his new series, Hanks spouted that America wanted to “annihilate the Japanese because they were different.”

He then drew a totally illogical parallel with the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Back in World War II, we viewed the Japanese as ‘yellow, slant-eyed dogs’ that believed in different gods,” Hanks explained. “They were out to kill us because our way of living was different. We, in turn, wanted to annihilate them because they were different. Does that sound familiar, by any chance, to what’s going on today?”

Hanks' history lesson teaches that the Japanese emperor and his expansionist attacks on countries in Asia and our country in the form of Pearl Harbor were merely because we look different.

In Hanks' twisted history, our war with Japan had nothing to due with an attack on the U.S. or the fact that at that time Japan attempted take over an entire continent. They occupied nations, enslaved them and even engaged in ethnic cleansing. No, it was just our wrongly held bias toward people who believed in “different gods.”

So what does Hanks think is going on with what used to be called the "war on terror?"

The man who played Forrest Gump has a simple “box of chocolates” explanation for our actions in the post-9/11 world. It’s so uncomplicated. According to Hanks, we fight because we are bigots.

He apparently either doesn’t know about the reality of extremist Islamic groups or chooses to ignore that very unpleasant reality. The hatred, violence, the treatment of women, the stark barbaric brutality is just not part of the Hanks analysis.

Hanks doesn’t seem like the typical drug-addled party animal actor that crawls the clubs on Sunset Blvd. But the way he talks about the American past, rather than give Hanks the moniker “History maker,” as Time magazine did, the actor should be called a “History Maker-upper.”

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James L. Hirsen, J.D., Ph.D.
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